MUCH of the evidence needed when writing about local history is the photographic images that go with the stories and events recorded.

On the day that the news was announced of the easing of the recent lockdown measures given by the Government I received a phone call from local resident Les Howlett, offering to let me borrow some of his published books of historical photographs.

His books were compiled from the many photographs given to him along with permission from the owners to use them in his books.

This meant that I would be able to fill in some gaps of pictorial evidence missing from my previous articles.

On Thursday, June 11, I walked to Les’s home to collect his books.

We had agreed a time so that we could stay socially distant while I collected them from his doorstep.

The four books contain photographs of historical interest to the people of Didcot, many of the surrounding villages and newcomers too.

With these books I am now able to add to some of my previous articles written about the town.

I jumped at the chance to fill in the gaps with the amazing amount of photographs contained in the books.

For instance, on the subject of shops and businesses (January 2020), I found pictures showing the builders working on the premises of Jane Grey’s, which was situated at the corner of Haydon Road and Broadway, and one of the finished shop seen with the Penny Farthing bikes taken in 1950.

Jane Grey’s was a ladies' fashion shop where at the age of 15 I saw a gorgeous red swagger coat that I really wanted.

However I wasn’t allowed to have it as I was told it was too grown up for me!

Others photographs show people queueing – one for sweets, which were rationed, from Streets shop, and another queue for hot cross buns from Livings bakery.

Another shop which will always be remembered was Dale’s store in High Street and I was really thrilled to find that photograph.

I found two photographs of the Newlands Avenue development.

I had no evidence of this when I wrote about the housing estates being built at that time.

Those photographs show the area of land being measured and the construction of the houses which I would have included in July 1 article on housing estates if I had had them.

I remember playing with friends in the huts that were being demolished to make way for the houses.

The background shows the flats that were opposite Edmonds Park which have since been replaced by houses and Hanover Court.

I will finish with a special 'thank you' to Les who also gave me the photograph of him with his wife Isabel.